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Personnel Administrator v. Feeney

Significance, Impact, Further Readings


Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts et al.


Helen B. Feeney

Appellant's Claim

Although the intent of the Massachusetts Veteran's Preference Statute was to benefit a social category of veterans (in which women traditionally represented a significantly small percentage), the act was not gender-biased.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Thomas R. Kiley, Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Richard P. Ward

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart (writing for the Court), Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

5 June 1979


Lifetime benefits extended to veterans which allowed hiring preference over non-veterans, under Massachusetts statute, did not violate Fourteenth Amendment equal protection standards. Discrimination against women was not at issue because statutory preferences made a distinction only between veterans and non-veterans rather than between men and women.

Related Cases

  • Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229 (1976).
  • Massachusetts Bd. of Retirement v. Murgia, 427 U.S. 307 (1976).
  • Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Corp., 429 U.S. 252 (1977).
  • United Jewish Organizations v. Carey, 430 U.S. 144 (1977).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980